Nala Sopara

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Nala Sopara
नालासोपारा
Naleshwar Mahadev Mandir in Alkapuri, Nalsopara East
Naleshwar Mahadev Mandir in Alkapuri, Nalsopara East
Nickname(s): Sopara
Nala Sopara is located in Maharashtra
Nala Sopara
Coordinates: 19°24′55″N 72°51′41″E / 19.4154°N 72.8613°E / 19.4154; 72.8613Coordinates: 19°24′55″N 72°51′41″E / 19.4154°N 72.8613°E / 19.4154; 72.8613
Country India
State Maharashtra
District Palghar
Population (2001)
 • Total 564,664
Languages
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 401 203 to 401 209
Telephone code 91250
Vehicle registration MH48
Vidhan Sabha constituency Nalasopara

Nala Sopara, also known as Shurparaka (Sanskrit: शूर्पारक, lit. city of braves) or Sopara is a town within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The town lies in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. The population of the city was 184,664 during the 2001 census. It also has railway station on the Western Railway Zone, approximately 35 km from Mumbai. It is governed by the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC). Nala Sopara is accepted by scholars as the Suparaka or Supparak of ancient India and was a busy trade centre and an important seal of Buddhism. It was also one of the administrative units under the Satavahanas and is mentioned in the inscriptions of Karle, Nashik, Naneghat and Kanheri.

History[edit]

Nalasopara, in ancient times was the largest township on India's west coast and near to Sopara which was one of the chief ports of ancient India trading with Mesopotamia, Egypt, Cochin, Arabia, Greek, Rome and Eastern Africa. Proof of Ashokan inscriptions have also been recovered from Sopara, Buddhist text gives details that it was a prominent Buddhist area. During excavation ruins of a Buddhist Stupa were found. From the center of the stupa (inside a brick built chamber) a large stone coffer was excavated which contained eight bronze images of Maitreya Buddha which belong to the 8th-9th century A.D. The coffer contained a relic caskets, numerous gold flowers and fragments of a begging bowl. A silver coin of Gautamiputra Satakarni was also found from the mound.

The stupa site of Sopara locally known as Baruda Rajacha Killa was excavated by Bhagwanlal Indraji in 1882 and yielded a fragment of the VIII Rock Edict of Asoka along with a large stone coffer, jewellery, a copper casket and seven Buddha images and a Maitreya image. The site was re-excavated by M.M.Qureshi of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1939-40, when several stone lintels and two small stupas were found on the south side of the main stupa in addition to a few sherds of plain glazed ware of the Muslim period. Anwar Munshi (1972) found a number of Satavahana lead coins at Sopara.[1]

The ancient habitation site lies 2 km away from the stupa which overlooks the dry creek on the south and on the east opens to Thane creek. A large quantity of Islamic Glazed Ware, Black and Red Ware were found at the site. It seems that during the Early Historical period Sopara was located on the mainland facing Agashi island on the north and Bassein to the south. The backwaters between the mainland and the island were suitable for the movement and anchorage of ships. Gas and Nirmal villages were once part of the creek. A number of tanks and architectural remains arc noticed in the areas adjoining these villages. All the ancient relics were found in the area between the stupa and the creek. Up to the 19th century this creek was navigable and ships of 20 tonnes used to ply here. The significance of the architectural pieces becomes more important when the surface findings arc taken into account. The area around Bhatela pond is a landing place or bunder, where even remains of a Portuguese jetty and customs house are seen. Exploration (1994) in the adjoining area has yielded Red Polished Ware and Glazed Ware. The evidence is further corroborated by a joint excavation in 1993 carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India and the British Academy, Hyderabad where antiquities of the Early Historical period (Satavahana and Kashatrapa period) — lead and copper coins, semi-precious stone beads, small fragments of Northern Black Polished Ware, amphorae pieces and Islamic Blue Glazed ware were discovered. An earthen wall and a fourteen coarse stone wall with varying sizes of stone blocks were also encountered during this excavation.[1]

It is clearly evident from the archaeological and literary sources that Sopara was the main entrepot dating from the pre-Asokan period up to the 3rd century A.D. and again from 9th to 13th century A.D. There is no evidence of cultural remains from 4th to 9th century and it seems that during this period Sopara had lost its importance. The main cause for the decline of the ancient port of Sopara was due to the effect of siltation caused by a rise in sea level. Further near-shore and off-shore marine archaeological exploration and excavation would be helpful to ascertain the extent of the ancient port city.[1]

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[2] Nala Sopara had a population of 184,664 and it is one of the well-known suburbs in Mumbai. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Nala Sopara has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 82%. In Nala Sopara, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. This area has witnessed very steep rise of population due to the cheapest property rates in the Mumbai suburban railway area, steep rise of property rates in Mumbai and being well-connected to Mumbai city by local train services. The area has witnessed steady property growth. As per the new records it will be one of the best places in the western suburbs.

Localities[edit]

Sopara Village, or 'Gaon' (the name for Nala Sopara before urbanization) consisted of the Nawayat Mohalla, Kharkhandi Mohalla, Shakar Mohalla, Waza Mohalla, Bhandarali, Loharali, Chawdi Naka, Samelpada, and Bazar Peth also known as Burhan Chowk (named after the famous local freedom fighter Mr. Burhan Harris). Post-urbanisation, Nala Sopara, like all western suburbs of Mumbai, was divided into West and East. The western part of Nala Sopara is a better developed area compared to its eastern counterpart with respect to planning and connectivity.

The prominent areas of both are listed below.

Nallasopara West:- Patankar Park, Panchal Nagar, Sri Prastha Complex, Laxmiben Chheda Nagar, Darul Mamur Complex, Shurparak Nagar, Chanakya Nagar, Samel Pada, Sopara Gaon, Nale Gaon, Nilemore, Nallasopara-Virar Link Road Area, Chakradhar Nagar, IDBI Colony, Ami Park.

Fun Fiesta Miraj Multiplex is located in Sri Prastha complex.

Nallasopara East:- Babul Pada, Shirdi Nagar, Gala Nagar, BMC Colony, Shankeshwar Nagar, Majethia Park, Ashok Nagar, Chandan Naka, Sainath Nagar, Atma Vallabh, Mahesh Park, Kesari Park, Vaikunth Nagar Phase-II, Radha Nagar, Tanki Road, Achole Road, Achole Talav, Tulinj Road, Central Park, Vijay Nagar, Nagindas Pada, More Gaon, Manvel Pada, Ostwal Nagari, Pragati Nagar, Achole Gaon, Vasai-Nallasopara Link Road Area (RASHMI DHRUVITA PARK), Kargil Nagar

Nallasopara East Station Road To Highway (NH8):- Tulinj Road, Toll Naka, Santosh Bhuvan (Postal Address as Hawai Paada), (Sitaram Nagar) Gorai Pada, Pandey Nagar, Bilal Pada, Shri Ram Nagar, Dhaniv Baag, Dhaniv Baag Talao, Wakan Pada, Vasai-Nallasopara Highway Area

Dancers and artists from this area are very famous across India winning competition at State, National and International level. ABCD 2 Movie (2015) explores the career journey of Suresh and Vernon of the "fictitious dance crew", who went on to win the World Dance Championship in Las Vegas.

Chakreshwar Mahadev Mandir[edit]

The Chakreshwar Mahadev Mandir (19°25′01″N 72°47′55″E / 19.416982°N 72.798733°E / 19.416982; 72.798733) is a very ancient shrine of Lord Śiva.[3] This is a relatively small temple and is noted as the holy place where Svāmi Samarth performed dhyānam, pratiṣhṭha of a Rām Mandir near-by and blessed a śiṣhya who undertook a sajīva samādhi at this very place. The temple lies at one corner of the Chakreshwar lake in Nalasopara West.[4]

The era of construction is not clearly known. However this is a siddha pradeśa, where many great sages attained mokṣha by serving the Lord. The temple was attacked by invaders and many of the idols were thrown into the nearby Chakreśvar Talao (lake). Many such old and rare idols were recovered later and put up in the current temple structure. The present structure is relatively new and small.

Transportation[edit]

Train Network, and Road Network connect Nalasopara with all the other area of Mumbai city. Train, Bus, auto and private taxi services are the mode of transportation. In addition, some privet taxi operator like Ali Cool Cab provide outstation taxi service.

Schools (Alphabetical Order)[edit]

  • Achole High School
  • Adarsh Education Society's Kapol School
  • Agape Pre School
  • Avdhoot Bhagwan Ram English High School
  • Avdhoot Bhagwan Ram Vidyalaya
  • Chandresh Lodha Memorial High School
  • Divine Life School
  • Divine Providence High School
  • Evergreen High School
  • GD Ideal High School
  • Gurukul English High School
  • Holy Angels School
  • Holy Mary English School
  • Infant JDivine Life School
  • Infant Jesus High School
  • Iris School & Junior College
  • JBS High School
  • Kanchan High School & Junior College
  • Khrist Raj High School
  • Kids Corner
  • KMPD High School
  • Little Flowers English High School
  • Little Star Play Group Nursery
  • Lokmanya High School & Junior College
  • Mother Mary's English High School
  • Mount Mary's High School
  • Pancham High School & Junior College Of Arts & Science
  • Purushottam School
  • Rahul International School
  • Raja Shivaji vidyalaya
  • Reckon Public Academy
  • RK International School
  • Rosary International Boarding School
  • Ryan International School
  • Sacred Heart High School
  • Saint Aloysius High School
  • Saraswati esus High School
  • Seth Vidya Mandir
  • SKC school
  • Sopara English High School
  • St. Aloysius High School, Nallasopara
  • St. Anthony High School
  • St. Augasthi High School
  • St. Francis De Sales High School
  • St. Joseph & Mary Convent School
  • St. Lukes English High School & Junior College
  • St. Mary's English High School
  • St. Willibrord International School
  • Sudarshan English High School
  • Summer Field School
  • Thakur Vidya Mandir High School
  • The Krayons Pre Primary School
  • Treehouse School
  • Vedant Public High School
  • Vidya Varidhi Vidyalaya
  • Vidya Bhushan Hindi Vidyalaya
  • Vidya Bhushan Marathi Vidyalaya
  • Zulekha Begum Balumiyan Zakaria English High School
  • New Orchid High School ( Best school in nalasopora)

Industrialisation[edit]

The eastern part of Nala Sopara is highly industrialized, with small and medium scale units producing a wide variety of goods.

References[edit]